Your Diet May Help Regulate Your Mood

Normally, eating when stressed is ill advised. The term usually brings to mind the image of someone who has just had some shocking news running frantically to their freezer in search of the curative pint of ice cream. He/she gorges greedily, only to awaken the next day not only to find their troubles still very much present, but an additional five pounds added to their body weight.

However, what if you learned that eating actually can relieve stress? You just need to make sure that when you open that freezer, you reach for the frozen grapes instead of the vanilla swirl.

The Anti-Stress Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
You may know that fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients, but did you know that they might also help to ease stress, anxiety, and depression. A recent study examined diet of 60,000 Australians aged 45 and up, only to reveal that those who had 3-4 servings of fruits and begins a day had 12% less psychological stress than those who had just one. Those who got five to seven servings had an even bigger reduction in stress, showing a 14% reduction as compared to the single serving percentage.

Ladies Only?
However, the researchers found that in a study based on a 10 question comparative survey focusing on anxiety and depression between the years of 2006 -2008 and 2010, males subjects did not show the same results. Says study co-author and University of Sidney PhD student, Binh Nguyen, “We found the fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables.” The questionnaire revealed that women who consumed 5 to 7 portions of vegetables and fruits experienced a 23% reaction in stress levels in comparison to ladies who only ate 0-1 portion. Two portions produced a reduction in stress of 16%.

Happy woman

More Work To Be Done
While you may not want to wait to start consuming more fruits and veggies, the authors of the studies do stipulate that there is more work to be done before any definite conclusions can be reached. They state that while the intake of fruits and vegetables may reduce the stress levels in middle-aged and older adults, the link between the diet and psychological distress requires further investigation.

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
But while we wait for the final verdict, keep eating those veggies and fruits. The mental health charity “Mind” says, “Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins, and fiber we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy. Eating a variety of different-colored fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients-several portions of the same type of food won’t be so good for you.”

As for choosing the best fruits and veggies: tomatoes, bananas and mushrooms top the list for their high potassium levels which are “essential for your whole nervous system, including your brain. they also advise keeping fruits and veggies raw for the highest number of nutrients.

What do you think? Do fruits and veggies make you feel a little less stressed? Let us know the results of your private research.

Woman having a bath

Adult Bath Time Is Good For Stress

“The boss! The baby! The dog! That does it! Calgon! Take me away!” You may remember the classic 1970’s Calgon commercials. A woman comes home, the image of her angry cigar -smoking boss still fresh in her mind, her crying child and barking dog, still taunting her memory. It all melds into a spinning wheel of confusion; the woman throws up her hands in frustration.The scene changes. The same woman in a bath filled with Calgon bath bubbles. The soothing voiceover encouraging her to lose herself in luxury. The stress formerly seen in the woman’s face replaced by a blissful expression. She has found her escape.

For years, bath times have been viewed as a source of stress relief. The warm water, the soothing scent, all calling up a sense of comfort and intense relaxation. Are you more than ready to make your bath time into a tranquil escape from insanity? Here’s all you need to know about perfecting your adult bathing experience.

Set the Mood
You know lighting is a very important part of atmosphere. Ditch those regular wall lights and get experimental. Try some old fashioned candles or tea lights which you can strategically place all around your bathroom; just keep them away from the towels!

Crank Some Tunes
Music is a crucial element when it comes to relaxation, just make sure it’s something you like. You can get sassy with Beyonce or Adele, or go more traditional with some classical movement. If heavy metal is more your thing, just make sure you don’t rock all the water out of your bath!

Snacks
You can’t relax if your hungry and you sure don’t want to leave the bath to search through your kitchen, so make sure to have some of your favorite snacks on hand, just make sure your chips don’t end up floating next to your rubber ducky!

Temperature
The optimal temperature is an absolute must if you want to achieve bath time nirvana. 33.3 degrees celsius is the recommended water temperature; it should not exceed 38.3, which will be too hot and may leave you feeling drowsy.

Woman with red wine in bath

Red Wine
Red, red wine, it makes you feel so fine. Not only might you want to sip while you soak, but you may want to actually mix the wine with the bath water. It will not only smell great, but it will treat your skin to some beneficial antioxidant action.

Don’t Dehydrate
Just because you’re soaking in water, it doesn’t mean you are safe from dehydration. You might be surprised at the amount of perspiration a body can produce in a hot bath. Have a cool glass of water on hand and it may be useful to keep a flannel and jug of water close by so you can make yourself a cold compress if you start to feel sweaty.

Face Mask
While you’re pampering, why not apply a face mask? It will nourish and cleanse the skin on your face while the bath does the same to the skin on your body.

Self Massage
While your muscles are relaxing, you might as well address the problem spots. You can use a water proof ball resting it against a solid surface, while exerting pressure on it evenly. The water will help to control the degree of intensity you apply.

Bath Oils
The type of bath oils you chose may effect the type of benefits your bath can give. Lavender oil is known to encourage sleep and sandalwood oil can help relieve anxiety. Just add about ten drops when the bath is half full to allow even distribution and a sufficient amount of scent.

Support Your Head
The last thing you want is a stiff neck when you’re trying to relax. Fold up a couple of towel for a makeshift pillow.

How do you like your bathing experience? Do you have some anti-stress tips for us? We’d love to know!

Woman eating bananas

You Should Eat More Bananas

It has been said that you should never make eye contact with another person while eating a banana. That really says a lot about bananas. Despite its physical disadvantage, not to mention a very short shelf life, bananas still rise. Perhaps it is because they have a thick skin? (ha) Joke about them as we may, bananas continue to be one of the most beloved and most importantly traded food in the world. So what is it about the yellow fruit that makes it so widely cherished? Is it the wonderful taste? The low maintenance? The ability to go so well with ice cream? Perhaps all of the above and perhaps some of the following health benefits of bananas:

Potassium
Bananas are loaded with potassium. That means they can counteract the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure and maintain heart function, lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack. In fact, even the US Food and Drug Administration has to concede that banana’s ability to regulate blood pressure is far more powerful that of any drug that produce. According to research conducted by the American Heart Association, bananas can cut the risk of stroll by 20%.

Increased Energy
If you are an avid tennis watcher, you may just find your favorite player munching on a banana between sets. That’s because the banana’s natural sugar and soluble fiber provide for a slow stable energy release. Bananas have a glycemic index of about 52, which gives them enough of a kick to the system without spiking blood sugar. They also contain about 24 g of carbs which increases with the banana’s ripeness.

Skin Conditions
Did you know banana skin can be effective in treating psoriasis and acne? Just rub a freshly peeled inside of the peel over the affected area and allow your skin to absorb the residue. The fatty acids in bananas can relieve a large variety of skin conditions.
You can also use a banana peel treatment to heal warts. Just rub a piece of banana peel over the wart and tape it firmly in place. Leave it on overnight every night for a week or until the wart disappears.

Improved Mood
If you have reservations about turkey this holiday season, you can get your tryptophan kick from bananas. The human body converts tryptophan into serotonin, which helps reduce stress,raise levels of happiness, and help regulate sleep patterns.

Vitamin B6
Just one banana contains a full fifth of the daily does of B6. That’s good news because B6 creates hemoglobin for healthy blood. It also plays a role in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels,synthesizing amino acids and producing antibodies to help boost your immune system.

If you believe in the health benefits of bananas, we would love to get your input. We can never hear enough about banana appeel (appeal-get it?) We love to hear from you as always!

Aromatherapy oil

Boost Mood with Lavendar, Jasmine, Rosemary

Aromatherapy is a natural, holistic treatment that has been used for over 6,000 years and it involves the use of essential oils that have been extracted from various plants. Typically, aromatherapy is associated with inhalation exercises, but you can also use essential oils for a stress-relieving bath, a therapeutic massage or under doctor supervision, you can orally administer essential oils. There is a multitude of different essential oils, all of which target specific health problems or concerns. When it comes to needing a mood boost, three of the best essential oils you can use are lavender, jasmine and rosemary. Below, find out why each of these essential oils is beneficial and what you can expect from each one.

Lavender oil

Lavender
Lavender is perhaps the most widely thought of essential oil when it comes to relaxation. Many sleep products are infused with lavender essential oil because it promotes relaxation and is thought to aid insomnia. How does lavender oil do these things? It seems that when lavender oil is inhaled, molecules enter your brain and interact with two centers associated with emotion: the amygdala and the hippocampus. When this happens, lavender acts as a sort of sedative to these two areas, thereby reducing feelings of stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation and calm feelings. In fact, a 2007 study found that men who inhaled lavender essential oil had significantly lower levels of cortisol, the hormone primarily associated with stress. To benefit from the relaxing and calming scent of lavender, you could use an essential oil warmer, diffuser or simply open a vial of the essential oil and inhale. Keep a bottle near your bed for help with insomnia, or stash some in your purse for days where it seems that your stresses are unending.

Jasmine oil

Jasmine
Often referred to as the “woman’s oil,” jasmine has been used for centuries to help with health problems such as skin care, hormonal disorders and childbirth. However, jasmine is not limited to these functions, it can also have profound psychological effects. Jasmine has an excellent reputation as an antidepressant and can be used if you suffer from anxiety, depression, fear and tension. Additionally, jasmine is a well-known and powerful aphrodisiac, which can be very helpful to someone suffering depression. Often, a serious lack of sex drive accompanies depression or is a side effect of antidepressants. Jasmine essential oil can help put your sex life back on track, which is another way to boost your mood. Experts do caution those wanting to use jasmine essential oil. Because it has such a strong floral fragrance, it can be overpowering for some and may induce headaches. Using jasmine oil in an essential oil diffuser is a great way to use a tiny amount, but to get big results.

Rosemary oil

Rosemary
Rosemary is well-known for its fragrance and taste in the kitchen, but rosemary essential oil can help with a number of psychological and physical issues. One of the historical uses for rosemary was at weddings and funerals, because rosemary improves memory. In addition to improving your memory, rosemary essential oil can help with physical symptoms of depression and anxiety like headaches, sore muscles and digestive concerns. Another way that rosemary can help boost your mood is by improving your circulation and providing you with a feeling of rejuvenation and renewed energy. Rosemary can also help to clear and calm your mind, making it easier to relax. You can use rosemary in a diffuser, a warmer or place a few drops in a spray bottle filled with water and mist the air when you need a little lift.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years because they work. A well-formulated, high-quality essential oil can have dramatic impacts on both your physical and mental well-being. When you need a boost in mood, using lavender, jasmine and/or rosemary can be quite helpful. Keep small vials of essential oils in your purse, so that you are ready to tackle any problem or difficulty that comes your way during the day.

Woman painting

Live Well: Ways to Instantly Improve Your Mood

If you’ve ever thought to yourself that it will nice to be happy someday, listen up. You don’t have to make happy an abstract goal for your future, you can do things to make yourself happy in the next few minutes. We put together three of the quickest and easiest ways you can instantly improve your mood no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Woman sitting besides a pond.

Head Outside
You know the saying ‘you’re only one workout away from a good mood?’ It’s completely true, but it can be difficult to increase physical activity during periods of depression or great stress. Even if you don’t have added feelings of lethargy from depression, it can be difficult to find time for a workout in the middle of your workday when you find yourself stressed and anxious. Taking a brisk walk can significantly boost your mood and energy levels, and venturing outside for your walk is even more beneficial. Research points to the fact that sunlight stimulates chemicals in your brain that help improve your mood. You don’t have to spend your entire lunch hour outside working up a sweat, just a 10-minute brisk walk is all you need to feel reinvigorated. And if you absolutely can’t get outside due to location or weather, spend some time roaming the office halls or walking the stairs for a quick burst of energy.

Chamomile Tea.

Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has long been a bedtime remedy for those who have trouble falling asleep and recent studies show that drinking this tea really is effective at reducing anxiety or feelings of stress. In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, 57 participants who had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder were given chamomile supplements for a period of eight weeks. The results were a significant drop in anxiety levels and increased feelings of calm. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that in addition to promoting calm, chamomile tea can promote sleep. Drink a cup of chamomile tea after a hectic work meeting in the afternoon or at the end of the day to promote peaceful, calm feelings or to really unwind, turn off your electronic devices (yes, including the TV and your cell phone) and enjoy a cup nightly with a book or your favorite music playing. This helps create a ritual that your body associates with feelings of rest and relaxation.

Aromatherapy oils.

Use Aromatherapy
For centuries, aromatherapy and essential oils have been used to address a vast number of concerns that include soothing ailments both physical and mental. The next time your mood declining, try one of the following essential oils. Lemon is particularly helpful when you are feeling angry, anxious or rundown and exhausted because it promotes concentration in addition to containing calming and clarifying properties. If you’re feeling sad or depressed, try jasmine. Jasmine, like lemon, also has a soothing effect, but it also helps lift your mood by increasing optimism, energy levels and confidence. When you need to really unwind and relax, reach for lavender because lavender soothes nerves, relieves nervous tension and can help control depression. One of our lifestyle partners, 21 Drops, features incredible, unique blends of essential oils in a fun and convenient packaging so you can take your essential oils with you wherever you go and not have to worry about spills or bulky glass containers.

It would be amazing to be calm, happy and energetic all the time, but that just isn’t very realistic. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to just muddle through feelings of anxiety or depression. These three tips help you to instantly improve your mood, helping you to tackle stress and negativity in a positive way.